While the Coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, scammers are also flocking to domain names that they can put fake websites on to steal money from people who think they’re donating to the cause.
Just to be clear here. Not everyone who registers a domain name with the word “coronavirus” in it or “vaccine” in is a scammer. There are certainly examples of people who have registered domains with these words in them and done good things with them to help make a difference. One of the best examples is Go Daddy who owns Coronavirus.com and forwards the domain name to the World Health Organization information site on the deadly virus.
That being said, scammers are going bananas and registering a high volume of domains and using them as the home of fake websites that are stealing critical funds intended to go towards hospitals and people impacted by the virus, and putting that money in the hands of criminals.
Now NameCheap, one of the world’s most popular domain name registrars is taking a stand.
Domain registrar Namecheap on Wednesday said it would no longer be accepting any new domain applications including the words “coronavirus,” “covid,” and “vaccine,” among other versions of words and phrases alluding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Los Angeles-based company says the measure is to prevent abuse and fraud from sites trying to hawk fake products and misinformation and otherwise capitalize on the ongoing global health crisis.(Source – The Verge)
I personally think this is a good move on NameCheap’s part. Yes – people can register domains with these terms in them to do good…but sadly what we’re seeing now is that the vast majority of these domains are being purchased by the digital truckload by scammers.
As we all know, domain names go a long way towards adding legitimacy to a website or online business. This is why great domains sell for millions of dollars every single week – an domain can immediately give a website trust and authority…the challenge is, if the website behind it is a scam, that authority goes to a bad cause.
Congrats to NameCheap, I know this was probably a tough decision, but to me it shows a company that’s not afraid to put morals over profits.